Above & Below the Pond

Above & Below the Pond lesson plan

Pond life is fascinating! Create a realistic scene that's teeming with plant and animal life.

  • 1.

    Have students search for information and pictures about life in and around a pond. Visit local ponds to sketch life you see in the water and nearby. Identify all plant and animal life. Find out what happens to pond life during harsh weather conditions such as droughts and prolonged freezes.

  • 2.

    Students paint a realistic pond scene, above and below the water. The pond can be a real or an imaginary pond in a different climate. Choose a specific season to accurately represent. With a Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencil, divide a large piece of construction paper in half lengthwise.

  • 3.

    Below the Pond: Students cover their art area with recycled newspaper. Use Crayola Washable Watercolors and Watercolor Brushes to create an underwater scene on the lower half of your paper. Will the scene be murky with polluting particles, or fresh and clear? To paint a watery scene, make the paper wet before beginning. Paint the water with a wash of color. Dry.

  • 4.

    Paint items that found under the water such as crayfish, turtles, snakes, wood, rocks, fish, amphibians, insects, and plants. Dry.

  • 5.

    Above the Pond: Students use colored pencils to create a background scene of life above the water. Include birds, animals, trees, sky, flowers, insects, frogs, lily pads, and perhaps a tree stump sticking out of the water.

  • 6.

    Label each item in the pond scene. Mount the picture on construction paper with a Crayola Glue Stick. Use colors that accentuate the sky and water.


  • LA: Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently.
  • LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
  • LA: Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, using formal English when appropriate to task and situation.
  • SCI: Ask questions about the natural and human-built worlds.
  • SCI: Note features, patterns, or contradictions in observations and ask questions about them.
  • SCI: Construct drawings or diagrams as representations of events or systems.
  • SCI: Construct explanations of phenomena using knowledge of accepted scientific theory and linking it to models and evidence.
  • VA: Know the differences between materials, techniques, and processes.
  • VA: Know the differences between materials, techniques, and processes.
  • VA: Know the differences between materials, techniques, and processes.
  • VA: Know the differences between materials, techniques, and processes.


  • Students compose a written explanation of their pond scenes, using appropriate vocabulary from their learning. Writing can be word processed. If artwork is posted in the classroom, student writing will be used to enhance understanding of their pond scenes. These written explanations can also be used to guide students in a whole class or small group presentation of their scenes.
  • Students may choose to investigate multiple seasons of pond life and sketch each. This can be done individually or in small groups. If done in small groups, a collaborative writing piece should accompany each seasonal scene. Students/groups should be prepared to present their findings to the class or on video for future viewing.